Research University news

6 discoveries from the University this May

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It’s that time of the month to take a look back at some of the fantastic research which has been carried out at the University. There’s so much work going on which you might have missed – why not take a read at some of the best discoveries some of our researchers have found this May?

Three million year old fossilised mouse reveals evolutionary secrets of colour

A three million year old fossil has been studied by some of our researchers at the University, unveiling the importance of fossilised colour pigments to determine how animals evolved. Red pigment has previously been extremely hard to detect, meaning the team had to use a mixture of physics, palaeontology, organic chemistry, and geochemistry to discover the pigment.

Microplastics flowing into our oceans threaten deep sea marine life

Researchers from the University have discovered that many microplastics – tiny pieces of plastic debris – are often found in the same place as many dense and diverse marine life communities on the deep sea floor. The University’s Dr Ian Kane is now focusing his research on how this has happened.

Rising self-harm rates suggest financial crisis may have hit middle-aged men hardest

A study led by researchers at the University has found that self-harm in middle-aged men increased significantly (by nearly 50%) following the 2008 financial crisis. Dr Caroline Clements stated: “There were striking increases in the rate of self-harm in men which may well have been related to economic as well as clinical factors.”

New research shows community forest management reduces both deforestation and poverty

In the largest study of its kind, a team led by The University of Manchester has found that giving control of forests to local communities in Nepal has decreased deforestation by 37% and poverty by 4.3%. This could be a groundbreaking discovery which, if applied by other areas, could help achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals.

English does not just belong to the English

Dr Alex Baratta, a linguistics expert at the University, has called for ‘World Englishes’ (varieties of English which are not spoken by ‘native’ speakers) to be recognised as equally legitimate. Dr Baratta has also urged that variations should not be classed as ‘errors’ but ‘differences’.

Erectile dysfunction drug could treat heart failure

A new study by the University has found that Cialis, a drug used for erectile dysfunction, has treated a particular type of heart failure in sheep. The drug has been seen to ensure that heart failure, when the heart is too weak to pump blood around the body, did not get any worse.